May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
I love gifts! I love giving gifts and I even love receiving gifts. This was not always the case, though. A dear friend of mine used to "bless" me at random with presents when I least expected them. This blew me away especially when it was something that she'd heard me mention just once in passing. I loved how cherished she made me feel, and so I began my journey in gift giving. This quickly became one of my favorite things. Let me elaborate.
The act of giving is a gift in and of itself. It requires that I go out of my way, to look outside of myself—and let's face it, most of the time we're usually only thinking of ourselves. The process requires me to get to know someone and listen often. This can be hard. But, oh the joy when I go above and beyond to show someone that I thought of them. The gift becomes as rewarding to me as to my recipient.
Now, let's be honest—it can truly be awkward to receive a gift from someone because we may think we don't deserve it, or we don't need it, or maybe we think we have nothing to give in return. But there are two things I love about receiving a gift. First, someone thought about me, loved me enough to put me first. That thought alone gives me the warm fuzzies all over. Second, there is humility in receiving. When I don't have anything to give in return I am humbled in receiving. It's a battle with pride which also makes the humility all the more beautiful, don't you think?
Christ gave us the greatest gift, the gift of life with Him forever. We did nothing to deserve this gift, and yet He knew exactly what we needed. When we humbly receive His gift, truly acknowledge that we don't deserve it and yet welcome it greatly, there is an overflow. Romans 15:13 says, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." And when we stand in awe of what Christ did for us, we want to give like Christ, and we in turn show ourselves as the Imago Dei, the image of God. Then when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us as we learn more of the continuous gift He gives us through sanctification, we overflow with hope; a hope, a light, others are drawn to.
Let's be gifters this season. Gifters of thoughtful presents and gifters of light.
Tiffany Cate is married to her husband of almost three years, John Cate. She has been a member of SMBC for a short time but has loved the family she is starting to make here. Both she and John work for Camp Ozark, a Christian sports and adventure camp.